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Friday, December 17, 2010

Another Perfect Tree

Yesterday was a hoot...really spirited good fun! So much so that I began to think "party" food and came across this really cute dish...another Perfect Tree. It is a nice addition to my broccoli tree and cauliflower Frosty. Looks like I could build a whole winter wonderland out of veggies!

Have fun with this and have a fabulous weekend!

Celery Hummus Tree

7 stalks celery (most of one bunch)
1 cup hummus

Pick pretty stalks of celery with an inside curve that will hold hummus. Clean and trim any rough spots. To make an attractive tree shape, start with the most slender pieces and work towards the wider ones, each about a quarter-inch longer than the previous pair. Cut pairs of pieces that are mirror-images of each other. Both sides of each stalk should angle in towards the shorter bottom edge. The angle towards the tree trunk will be less than the one on the outside. To get the pairs to match, cut one, then turn it over and put on top of the matching piece. Cut the second piece so the angles match.

To keep the celery from flopping over once it is filled with hummus, slice a thin ribbon from the bottom edge of each piece, creating a flat resting place.

Spread hummus into the curve of each stalk and arrange tree on a long plate. If you don't have a long plate or may be leaving the plate where you are going, cover a piece of cardboard with aluminum foil.
Here is another great recipe for hummus, too.

Homemade Hummus

4 cups cooked chickpeas 
1/3 cup chickpea broth, kept from cooking the dried chickpeas 
4 cloves garlic
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice with zest
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne or chipotle pepper, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Peel the garlic. Set up your food processor with the cutting blade or use a blender. Turn the machine on and drop the garlic in while the blade is turning. Turn the machine off. Add the chickpeas, broth, tahini, olive oil, and juice and zest of one lemon. Process or blend until smooth. Add the salt, cumin, cayenne or chipotle pepper, and black pepper. Process to blend. Taste, and adjust seasonings. If it tastes right but is just too thick, add more chickpea broth.

Use hummus right away or put in a container, cover, and refrigerate or freeze until needed.

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